Editors Blog

Big Rubs: The Sign of a Dominant Buck

Tracy SchmidtI had the pleasure of spending some time in the woods today with my bride; we were trying to call up a spring turkey. Sigh. We heard no gobbles … no nothin’. But the trip wasn’t a total bust. Imagine our surprise when we literally stumbled upon this gigantic rub on a swamp cedar. Tracy and I both spied it at about the same time and — like our kids on an Easter-egg hunt — we scurried over to investigate it.

The lone rub was located in a thick, soft creek bottom. Waist high and deeply scarred, this rub was certainly left behind by a dominant buck. These bucks are wide-ranging travelers. They move freely, often patroling uncontested over a relatively large breeding range occupied by several fraternal groups. According to D&DH Research Editor John Ozoga, an area’s dominant buck is a master at producing numerous, strategically located rubs and scrapes to advertise and communicate his superior social rank and presence to other bucks and does. When fresh, these scent-marked signposts convey the long-lasting message that carry the maker’s distinct odor and special pheromones, which have strong suppressor effects on younger bucks.

Luckily for us, we can bow-hunt this property this coming fall. But, of course, Tracy has already claimed dibs on a pinch point that’s about 100 yards from where this calling card was left behind. Hey, that’s OK by me. I’d be more than happy to drag that buck out for her.

2 thoughts on “Big Rubs: The Sign of a Dominant Buck

  1. jon

    Dan that is an awesome looking rub,wouldn’t that be something if you or your wife get the drop on him?..That would make a perfect outing. Hope to hear this coming up season if you get him or sight of him..maybe a trail,cam pic?…nice!

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